02 October 2007 | Paul Snell
Growth in the construction industry was slower last month than in August, but the sector continued to expand.
According to the latest CIPS/NTC Purchasing Managers' Index for construction, where a figure above 50 represents growth, activity in the sector reached 60.3 in September, down on August's 64.8 but still well above the no-change mark. It was the slowest rate of growth in three months.
Activity slowed in the three main areas of housing, commercial and civil engineering, but remained strong, recording 57.3, 60.2 and 61.7 respectively.
The number of new orders also slowed, but was strong due to improved market conditions. The PMI recorded 64.9 in September, down on August's 67.6.
Employment also continued to rise, although slightly slower than the previous month. Staff levels have grown for 15 consecutive months in response to the increase in new orders.
Even though input prices increased at their slowest rate for seven months, September's figure of 64.2 still showed firms' average costs were rising. Buyers cited the short supply of materials such as concrete, steel, glass and timber.
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